Archive for January, 2009

“Automatic” / “Devil Woman” promo CD single

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , on January 26, 2009 by J.J.
"Automatic"/"Devil Woman" promo single

"Automatic"/"Devil Woman" promo CD single

Picked up a cool little item on eBay a month or so ago: a promo-only CD single for The Red Devils’ “Automatic” and “Devil Woman.” Though it only contains two songs that you should own by now, there are still several notable things about this little single:

THE TWO-SONG PAIRING. After having memorized just about every sound and pause on “King King,” it is cool to hear these two songs back-to-back, out of sequence from the album. The promo disc is nicely mixed, with no edits, so the “live” feel carries over between the two songs, as though they were next to each other in the set.
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Discography, stage 1

Posted in red devils with tags , , , on January 22, 2009 by J.J.

We’ve just uploaded the first bit of discography to This comprises “official” recordings by The Red Devils, 13 and Lester Butler guest slots.
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Lester Butler Bolwerk Videos

Posted in 13 with tags , , , on January 21, 2009 by automatic32

Nothing will ever make up for the fact that the one time the Devils played in my town I didn’t blow off my English paper and go see them instead. It’s small consolation that I did graduate with said degree. After all, it was a short paper. How much could my grade have suffered? This incident probably serves as eternal fuel for me to find everything accessible about them anywhere I can. With the wealth of info that is the internet, this has gotten easier. That English paper thing is still regrettable, however.

The other evening I was rabidly surfing the web for all things Devils-related, when I happened across some Youtube videos featuring Lester Butler in his solo work with the band 13. The existence of such videos is not new to me, having owned some of them in one form or another for several years. However, as I idly watching some familiar clips for the umpteenth time I glanced over to the right under the “Related Videos” box, and saw one labeled “Lester Butler Bolwerk.” It didn’t sound familiar, but I didn’t think much of it as so many videos are merely identical content with different names. I have to check these things out, though, so I clicked on it. What came up didn’t look immediately familiar. Interesting. After several minutes of viewing I was pretty happy to realize that I’d actually found something I’d not seen or heard of yet, and with only about 450 hits to it since its posting on June of 2008, it looked like no one else had either.

The videos in question are from Lester’s 13 tour. He has Eddie Clark on drums, Alex Schultz on guitar, and I believe it’s Mike Hightower on bass, although I only saw Mike live once, and it’s hard to make him out in the dim light of the video. There are two separate clips, one is Automatic. The other is titled “Onbekend” on the video, which is obviously a foreign title, and I can’t readily assign a title to it myself. I heard Lester do a song similar to this when I saw him live at Lynaugh’s in Kentucky, but it’s not off of the album 13. Anyone with information relating to it is welcome to drop a line here at and enlighten the masses. The video quality is fairly decent, if not pro, and the audio is above average, though not studio quality by any stretch.

Naturally, I feel it’s my duty to share these new findings with any and all fans of the Red Devils and their related groups/artists. Enjoy. Maybe I’ll watch them again and pretend I was at this show instead of writing a paper or something not nearly as personally fulfilling.

“Oh my God … who is this?”

Posted in red devils with tags , on January 17, 2009 by J.J.

By the age of 20, I was already a pretty devoted blues fan. I’d been listening to Bo Diddley, Elmore James, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker for several years, and college was the perfect place to experiment with hardcore blues.

"King King"

But my eyes would be opened in the summer of 1992, back home with my family in South Bend, Ind., on first hearing The Red Devils.

Each week (or sometimes a couple times a week), my friends and I would hit all the local record stores, scouring the bins for the obscure, rare or just plain cool.

I can still remember where I was standing in the Tracks Records store (now gone), just in the shadow of Notre Dame University’s Golden Dome, when the clerk changed CDs in the store player.
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Posted in red devils with tags , , , on January 16, 2009 by J.J.

Welcome to, our tribute/resource site for early-’90s California blues band The Red Devils and harmonica player Lester Butler.

Red Devils

Red Devils

For those who saw the band live, heard the album “King King,” or found a copy of the infamous Mick Jagger blues bootleg album with the Devils, you are well-aware of what made this band so special: Real blues played with a punk rock sensibility; a charismatic frontman whose harp style was a throwback to blues’ roots; and a small but fierce catalog of recorded material that became a template for bands around the globe.

Most haven’t heard the group, which is a shame. 1992’s “King King” is almost a litmus test for hardcore blues credibility; knowing looks and nods are exchanged by the small fraternity of music fans who have found this CD.

That its lifespan was limited doesn’t take away from the band’s story. With roots in California’s roots and blues scenes, The Red Devils were a sister band to the legendary Blasters and raised up with James Harman and associates. As their fame in Cali grew, so did their fans: They were the only blues band signed to Rick Rubin’s Def American label, and they were Bruce Willis‘ house band for Planet Hollywood openings.

After splitting in the mid-’90s, Butler went solo, releasing the intense “13 featuring Lester Butler” album. Butler died tragically in 1998, sparking several tributes in the Netherlands and around Europe, where the Devils and 13 had played several near-legendary gigs.

Information about the musicians is scarce online, though a devoted following remains overseas. We are hoping this site can be a repository for the good stories, photos and random links sprinkled throughout the world wide web.

A bit about the authors: I’m J.J. Perry, digital editor at a newspaper in Bloomington, Indiana; blues and roots drummer; and certified barbecue judge. Tom Harold is a writer, artist and musician, who can currently be found blowing harp and singing in Indianapolis’ Gordon Bonham Blues Band. We met in college at Indiana University in 1992; we first bonded over “King King.” Soon, we started our first band together, named after the Devils’ tune “Automatic.” But we’ll get into all of that later.

Until then, on with the show …

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